ZoneMinder had its place



  • Some thoughts on this topic as I know you're trying to overcome zoneminder's limitations (and there are many.) I should note that it was built a long time ago and based on a gap in technology. Nothing like it existed for CCTV. All you had were old clunky DVRs. Browsers didn't even have good video support so they used a image-storage technique instead of video. Even now their h264 support for storage is wonky and their mobile support is meh. It needs a complete overhaul and you can't demand that of volunteers.

    That said, I think you're moving in the right direction here. ZoneMinder's strengths were in its support for a variety of cameras, flexible storage, and (after sometime) an API. The API is going to be super important for the future because I think a lot of what we will do next with cameras involves computer vision.

    For example, I have a Rachio controller. Imagine a situation where my cameras record a deer in my yard walking towards my petunias. It so happens that the NVR could be connected to stringify who says "Oh look! Deer. Hey Rachio... turn on the sprinklers." Petunias-1. Deer-0.

    Of course this is only one silly idea and there are a lot of practical use cases. "Hey look, someone is approaching the backdoor of the house and the home alarm is turned on. You might want to take a look."

    Also the old school ways of doing video surveillance are changing. We say things like "oh 10fps is good enough". Or "You want to have your camera 2' higher than the door frame." No... I want full framerate video that shows me faces - license plates - the text message they are reading on their phone! Really, if I have to go back and look I want to see that. So alas, that's a lot of zoneminder to bite off given its current design architecture.

    It had its place though!


  • administrators

    I believe ZoneMinder's strength came from the fact it was a open-source community project. Not a close-sourced platform for people to make money off every user. Personally I put up with that horror because it was free and open-source. I am not able to pay for crazily priced platforms nor do i wanna install windows for my servers. I struggled because it was my only option.

    I accept ZoneMinder is old and needs a lot of work. I don't accept that the devs claim ZoneMinder is "A full-featured, open source, state-of-the-art video surveillance software system" while it remains nearly the same thing since they picked it up 4+ years ago. I understand they are volunteers and have lives to live... but I am doing the same as them. They even have more incentive than I do, they get donations and bounty support regularly. I wouldn't be surprised if their position on the team has earned them alternate sources of income. The name "ZoneMinder" gives them that luxury.

    In short : ZoneMinder is dying (or dead) because it has no guardian to take care of it. It just has people editing it. ZoneMinder would still have a place if there was more effort put into the platform.. and in no way do i intend undermine what they have done so far but for the times we live in it isn't enough.

    Enough of my rambling! Yes the world is evolving fast. We have to keep up or we get left behind. Luckily i have been doing a lot of testing with [email protected] for the last few months and Shinobi seems to handle it just fine. Since Shinobi uses FFmpeg you can do things like pass-through (copy encoder). Which will record or stream H.264 data with very little overhead. We can also make use of the GPU to get even better performance.

    I will soon be updating object detection docs to include the fast install for OpenCV and CUDA. So you can get that detection stuff going easier.

    ZM can still have a place. They just need to earn it all over again.



  • Agreed on all points. The commercial solutions are horrible. I bought a nice NVR to try off Amazon and it was complete garbage. NOTHING worked and I mean nothing. They actually told me to try using an older version of the browser, complete with security holes. It was horrible and Amcrest should be ashamed of themselves.

    But I digress... I've been using openRTSP to save my stream to flat files and that does a great job on one objective. I'm using Shinobi now with full frame 1920x1080 with no problems. I haven't gotten motion detection working but after I futz a bit more I'll post about that on the right thread.

    The cuda integration will push me to pickup another video card I suppose (I currently run this on a VM with no GPU) but that's just the reality of doing anything like YOLO.



  • @moeiscool After long term testing..and running Shinobi since it's inception (I have versions running that did nothing but stream somewhat) I have found shinobi just as prone to failure and as buggy as ZM. I really do not understand you talking about arrogance when you are exactly the same if not more boastful. Shinobi is okay but not quite the Cat's Meow. And I take direct insult as I spend a lot of time working on ZM and as you know some suggestions thrown your way. If you remember you questioned the importance of filter functions. Shinobi is a GUI for FFMEG and combines some neat features when you come right down to it. The concept ZM uses is different from Shinobi and that's it. 2 different approaches...both have some big cons and both have their strengths. What mobile support does Shinobi have actually? Because the web interface display is horrible on my phone. I don't know why you seem bent on holding grudges and resorting to bad mouthing other developers.....it makes you seem like..really young and living in mom's basement still. Some kind of coding hooligan. I seem to remember pointing that out 1.5 years ago.


  • administrators

    @rockedge I never said Shinobi wasn't capable of failing. That would be irrational and it is irrational to assume I thought that at any point in time (you were around when some of the biggest bugs happened). The reason I point out ZM's failings so greatly is because they choose not to fix majority of them. A dev admits that he gets paid a fair amount from the project, yet he still tells people he is too busy or wants $ first.

    My reason for arrogance toward zm devs is simple. I was shunned, I was not helped, and I was hurt. This was before I started Shinobi. Just because they are nice to you doesn't mean they are nice to everyone. You provide free support and bug fixes to the community. I was just a guy who wanted to know how to add fixes and features in my own version of zm. Treating you the way they treated me would be foolish on their part and I think they are capable of understanding that.

    I don't recall questioning filters? Filters are part of Shinobi? One similar to the zm one and another for events as they come in. If I had questioned this in a negative way I probably wouldn't put that much consideration in it.

    I think Shinobi has more mobile support than ZM does. Just open a web browser and pop in the URL. Save it to your homescreen and bam. No installation from a third-party. Third-party as in the app is not made by core zm devs (by the creator's own admission). So technically zm has no (or less in the browser) mobile support because it isn't offered by them directly. Nice one!

    Here is an iPad Pro doing just that.
    alt text

    Can you honestly say ZM would ever use that little CPU? I don't even think the THIRD-PARTY app is capable of this. Regardless of whether it is FFMPEG or VLC. It does the task we are looking for. Why go for a complicated way if a simpler way is also correct? and not knowing how to use ffmpeg is hardly an excuse. I had no clue what ffmpeg was until I started making Shinobi.

    I don't hold a grudge anymore because now users don't need to feel trapped. They can leave ZM (or any other NVR) the moment they are unhappy and that makes me happy. I work everyday to make it better and easier to use, it is now my job to work on Shinobi and because it funds me I want to work on it more. I want to help people more.

    Also I am young. I live with my parents (sadly not in the basement anymore, i kind of liked it). I don't hold my tongue to people who don't deserve it. If you don't like your parents that is your choice, I like mine and I enjoy living with them. It would probably also do you well not to mention other people's parents in negative tone. That is seen as more childish than what I've done because my remarks lay on the relevant not the irrelevant. ZM devs needed to be told they aren't the best and that their behavior is unacceptable. I boast, I admit that. If you are saying having pride for one's work, one's child is wrong then you should get ready to talk down almost every parent. Boasting about what we care about is natural, not everyone does it but its natural.

    I have also been told many times I shouldn't do things by the community. It hurts but once you realize why they say it, it makes sense. Not everyone is critical because they hate your work they are critical because they've had a tough time and it partly is the developer's fault. Even if the liability clause is there, If people have trouble with Shinobi it bothers me. It's something I wrote and shared with for a purpose and it ends up not doing that. I want to fix that.

    As for our approaches. Regardless of how different they may be, the basic premise is the same. Build an Open Source NVR platform that works in the browser. They have done that but can you say they have done their best? I don't believe they have and I don't think we are going to see their best anymore, not on ZM anyway.

    I believe I can say this because I truly cared about ZM (actually still really do, i check their community chat every morning). I was showing my custom version to my friends, people who had no clue what any of it was. I was that happy about it. I really wanted it to work but again and again things just kept falling apart. I spent years of my life only to find out it was all a waste. Hypothetical : How would you feel if all the work you did on ZM was one day no longer used and instead they went for something sub-standard because it was easier to implement? It might crush you. That is how I felt.

    You can make fun or defend ZM all you like but it doesn't change anything. ZM devs could have had more people in their community building a better zm if they were more human to people and showed more care toward the project they are the leaders of. The Shinobi community that people have come together to build is insane (call this boasting if you want). I can't even count how many people have provided bug reports and features. Like its crazy not to want people to help or be a critic, it just helps you get better. (Edited)


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